Indy 500: Panther Racing Orientation Day notes

Scott Sharp Second-Quick in Indianapolis Motor Speedway Refresher INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 5, 2009) -- It didn't take Tequila Patron driver Scott Sharp very long to get re-acclimated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 2.5-mile oval Tuesday...

Scott Sharp Second-Quick in Indianapolis Motor Speedway Refresher

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 5, 2009) -- It didn't take Tequila Patron driver Scott Sharp very long to get re-acclimated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 2.5-mile oval Tuesday during a refresher session for the former IndyCar Series co-champion. Sharp, the polesitter at Indianapolis in 2001, posted the second-quick overall time during the first on-track activity of the month, held specifically for rookies and veterans who have been away from the Indianapolis 500 for at least one season.

Sharp did not compete in the event in 2008, but showed no rust in getting his No. 16 Tequila Patron Dallara Honda up to speed. He posted a quick lap of 221.878 mph, 40.5628 seconds on the track, trailing only veteran driver Paul Tracy, who like Sharp was on track today for a refresher. A total of nine drivers turned laps on the day.

Sharp will join teammate, and former Indy 500 winner, Dan Wheldon on the track tomorrow, as the track opens for all competitors vying for a spot in the 33-car field at 2 p.m. Pole day qualifications are this Saturday.

Scott Sharp, No. 16 Tequila Patron Dallara Honda

"First time I came down the backstretch I rolled it into Turn Three and thought, 'OK, no problem, I'm back in the groove again.' It feels like I just left. I wasn't sure how long it was going to take me, but it feels great to be back at Indianapolis with Tequila Patron and Panther Racing. There was obviously a lot of anticipation and a lot of excitement surrounding the whole opportunity with these guys. To get out here and finally start doing it today, it was great. It feels so good to be back here, because watching last year on TV wasn't a lot of fun. By the first lap, it felt like I was back in the old shoe again."

-credit: pr

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Series INDYCAR